Eager to help parents understand what their kids were learning in school, teachers Brittany Harris and Colleen Ryan decided to bring school to them — with the help of a big red school bus.
"A lot of our parents don't have cars, or the shifts they work don't work with the schedule of time teachers are available at school, so this service allows convenience for them," Ryan explains.
Harris bought the old bus — which she and Ryan named The Passage — from a relative last fall after struggling to connect with families in her low-income Chattanooga, Tennessee, district.
The educators stocked it with tables, chairs, books, games, and iPads, and they took it on the road.
Photo by The Passage/Facebook.
In addition to the grants that help furnish materials for the rolling classroom, the bus receives donated books and supplies.
The mobile learning lab is already showing results.
One boy who had trouble understanding some assignments did a 180 after Ryan and Harris came knocking on his door.
"[He] was great in math but struggled in reading," Ryan says. "With the bus, we taught him strategies of how to understand word problems even if he couldn't read it fully, which allowed him to pass his benchmark math test."
For some pupils, she explains, learning is about more than academics.
It's showing up that matters.
"A simple act of just going to a house can lift the lowest of spirits of a student."